AT&T: We Only Support Windows And Internet Explorer, No Safari

Reader Jen was having a hard time using AT&T’s website. She says, “It was very slow, I was asked to log in several times, the fonts unreadably small in places (and not just fine print, either).”

She mentioned her problems to the AT&T CSR and It turns out that they don’t support operating systems other than Windows, or browsers other than Internet Explorer. Jen notes that she’s never had any previous problems accessing the website in the 8 years she’s been a customer.

Here’s AT&T’s response.

Dear Ms. [redacted],

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail AT&T. I apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced in regard to accessing att.com/wireless using the Safari web browser.

After reading your e-mail, I have found that AT&T supports Microsoft Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser. This does not mean that other web browsers or operating systems are not compatible at http://www.att.com/wireless, but there may be compatibility situations that arise and AT&T is unable to assist in these rare situations, because AT&T only supports Microsoft Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser.

However, we also value all of our customer’s opinion and appreciate your feed back. I have forwarded your feed back on to the appropriate office so that your voice will be heard.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve you. Please let us know if we can assist in any other way, and thank you for choosing AT&T.

Sincerely,

Christina [redacted]
AT&T Online Customer Care Professional

Comments

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  1. hubris says:

    I have a Mac, as well as Windows, and I wouldn’t touch Safari with a ten foot pole. It’s a dying browser that Apple needs to just let die. Tell her to install Firefox and she’ll be 5X5.

  2. Anitra says:

    Because obviously, if you’ve chosen to use a Mac, you are a second-class citizen who does not deserve to access their website.

  3. I Will Not Stop Feeding My Fat Baby says:

    “Feed back”?

  4. JustinAche says:

    The disk she got from them for her DSL, or somewhere in her phones manual (if she’s paying a bill online), probably has requirements for the computer to access. I know mine does. Not a knock on her, but, AT&T can’t be required to be available to any browser. Just support one very well (well, it’s AT&T, they won’t support it, but you know what I mean)

  5. shan6 says:

    @AnitraSmith:

    True.

  6. Narb copied that floppy says:

    Understandable, because who really wants to have to deal with customers who makes such basic mistakes as buying a Mac.

    Download firefox, at least safari’s good for that.

  7. IphtashuFitz says:

    Considering over 1/3 of web users are using browsers other than IE (see [www.w3schools.com]) that’s a pretty big snub against their customer base. They could use a lesson in how to support their customers.

  8. SarcasticDwarf says:

    @omerhi: So true. While it is fairly easy to get pages working fine with IE and Firefox, Safari is well known for having serious issues. And with less than 2% of people using it, it is generally not worth taking a considerable amount of time to get it working.

  9. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Narb:

    Macs are pretty cool if you want to set your mom up on a computer that you never have to work on again.

  10. @Jaysyn: Except for trying to explain to said person how the hell to use everything.

  11. dgcaste says:

    That’s what happens when Microsoft didn’t stick to HTML standards. Companies code their webpages to work in IE, and now that people have realized that IE sucks and it’s lost a lot of its market share, web users are screwed into pages that don’t work for them.

  12. DeeJayQueue says:

    @AnitraSmith: except, iPhone.

    How can a company who is in cahoots, exclusive cahoots nonetheless, with Apple deny support for apple products. That’s fucking dumb.

  13. ConnerC says:

    For everyone saying “Use firefox” – that’s ‘not supported’ as well.

    I use Safari to pay my AT&T bill fine though, granted – it’s for an iPhone so not DSL.

  14. olivia2.0 says:

    I’m sorry – can somebody send this link to Steve Jobs? Because THIS is the company that he let have a death grip on the iphone, right? Nice job AT&T. Not only are you pissing on your customers, but also on apple in general. Who helped make you god only knows how much money this year.

  15. LikeYourFace says:

    @DemolitionMan: If they’re the only ones in the US market partnered with Apple, then why the fuck shouldn’t they support Apple’s broke ass browser? Shouldn’t I be able to go to my cell provider’s website with my cell phone’s browser?

  16. motoraway says:

    This is funny only because of the Iphone, being a partnership with Apple & AT&T, is the browser (Safari) used on the Iphone.

  17. KJones says:

    For those who haven’t heard, the EU’s competition commission (the ones who kicked Microshaft’s butt over the media player debate) has taken up Opera’s complaint against Microshaft’s “integration” of Infernal Exploder.

    Given Microshaft’s 0-for-whatever rate in fair trials in Europe, I would expect them to lose again. Microshaft was caught red handed, back in 2000, deliberately targeting Opera with bad code and then blaming the Opera browser.

  18. davebg5 says:

    Pure laziness on the part of AT&T.

    I have been doing software quality assurance testing for over 13 years and if you have an outward facing application or website, then you need to perform some environmental testing for different O/S and browser combinations.

    Obviously you can’t test them all, but you can certify more than just MS products. If this were an internal, corporate application then there is no problem with dictating system requirements, but for the website that a company makes available for their customers this is inexcusable.

  19. sleze69 says:

    Use Opera. I have been for years and very rarely have problems.

  20. AstroPig7 says:

    @All: I apologize for the tangent, but is anyone else annoyed by the use of words like “Microshaft” or “Micro$oft”?

  21. ExGC says:

    @ConnerC: Not only is it not supported – it actively doesn’t work for their unified messaging service among other things.

  22. SuffolkHouse says:

    I just went to the site with Safari – no problems.

    I still hate AT&T.

  23. DeeJayQueue says:

    @AstroPig7: You’re one of those who gets all twisted up when people type “*$” instead of starbucks, aren’t you?

    Maybe you should check out a book on bridge building from the library.

    So you can learn how to get over it.

  24. So wait.

    Explain to me why AT&T should support a browser that’s only installed on 4% of all computers, and on those computers maybe half of those users are using it. So now, AT&T has to spend the money to support 2% of all users?

    I don’t support safari on my website either.

  25. loganmo says:

    So are they going to provide support in accessing that website from an Iphone??? You can’t even get IE for Mac (if, for some bizarre reason you wanted to). I have found, though, that Firefox is a good bet in many of these situations.

  26. xgenius says:

    Safari really is a turd. I’ve even had issues with it on Apple’s own site. Just switch to Firefox and be done with it.

  27. thepassenger says:

    @ConnerC: It may not be officially supported, but it works, at least on my Macs (and judging from the comments, on many others’ as well). The same can’t be said for Safari.

  28. Hackoff says:

    I signed up for ATT wireless when I got an iPhone two months ago. After using ATT service for 29 days, I was certain that the service and the edge network are just not up to todays standards.

    I logged into my ATT account so that I could go online and cancel my service, but there was no way to do so. When I tried to send an email message to customer service, the email message portion did not work with either Safari or Firefox.

    Why didn’t I just call and cancel? Well damn why didn’t i think of that! Actually I did call, but at 9pm PST, they close their customer service centers. That means that there is not way for you to cancel your service. That means that if you are on your 30 day trial (like me) you cannot cancel your service after 9pm PST.

    Even if I wanted to send them a message through their website, I couldn’t unless I was using a crap-tastic windows machine. Don’t get me wrong, I have used a windows machine for years at work, but they are still crap. You may think a Mac is crap, but at least it looks good.

  29. Freedomboy says:

    I agree the use of “cute” names to knock Micorsoft is stupid. Often these same poster types come across all libertarian and scream about the “market forces” and “freedom” then fail to notice that the market has made Microsoft #1, nothing else is to blame. If you hate them don’t buy their efforts but shut up about how evil they are and all that bull. Think there would be an internet this expansive based only on Mac user numbers? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm? Think the vast number of services, USB toys, printer features would ever have evolved in a Mac only world, and this fast? Nope.

  30. m0unds says:

    I’ve just accepted the fact that not every website is designed to work correctly with every browser and I use IE or Fatfox when I have to. I use Opera for everything else.

  31. guroth says:

    AT&T clearly sees that it is not worth time time/money for training staff to deal with issues that only effect 3% of their customers

  32. KJones says:

    @Freedomboy:

    Give up the name “freedomboy” since you clearly don’t believe in it.

    You don’t like accurate witticisms? Then stop reading them instead of whining.

    “[T]he market has made Microsoft #1″? That’s like saying the East German people put the Stasi in charge.

  33. Adam Rock says:

    Safari’s catching up…IE is catching up with other browsers as well.

    Regardless, AT&T has no excuse not supporting as many browsers as customers they want to have.

  34. quiksilver says:

    @omerhi: Safari 2 sucks, Safari 3 works much better which I have been using for awhile with mostly no issues. If I come across a site that doesn’t work well in Safari, I use Firefox.

  35. wring says:

    @AnitraSmith: srsly? cus macs are so expensive?

  36. dvnprcsn says:

    @omerhi:
    I’m sorry but are you entirely sure what you’re talking about. Safari has been the only browser to pass the Acid test(the most commonly used browser test in the industry [en.wikipedia.org])… and it passed it twice I might add. It’s also the only browser to come with necessary plugins from the start besides paid-for browsers such as Opera. I’m not being a Mac apologist here, you’re just wrong. As for AT&T’s lack of support, they should support Safari, regardless of marketshare, because 2% of the user market is still a lot of people.

  37. wesrubix says:

    I ordered tmobile the other night and Firefox couldn’t handle a URL with a .do file (which tmobile used to give you your order status!). Pathetic. I still stand by Firefox as being a “safer” browser, than IE, but come on, Safari? It’s garbage. Companies have no obligation to support all browsers. Go cry about something useful.

  38. Klink says:

    If only web developers would make their sites ONLY work with FireFox, the world would be a better place…
    Well I might let Opera into this perfect world as well… might.

  39. meadandale says:

    @AnitraSmith:

    Get over yourself. As a Linux user, I’d barely qualify as third class…

  40. highfivers says:

    The problem with Safari is that it uses a more advanced style sheet. Modern websites use a CSS that handles formatting. Certain classes and commands used in the CSS are not supported by Firefox and IE but are for Safari. As much as it pains us, they are designing to fit the lowest common denominator.

  41. anacoluthia says:

    I was told the same thing by a Chase CSR a while back, that if I wanted reliable online access to my accounts, I had to buy a pc and use IE. This after I had been using Firefox on my mac for the year and a half over which I had held the account. Just stopped working one day. For a period of maybe 6 months I had to open Safari if I wanted to be able to login. Then, just as mysteriously as it had stopped working, I was once again able to login through Firefox.

    Just another example of how little they care about their customers.

  42. jiminim says:

    Now that Bellsouth is part of AT&T (again I think?) my problem is applicable. The issue was with making a payment on my home phone from either Firefox or Safari on a Mac. *It just didn’t work!* Hit the submit button and you were greeted with a white page with a progress bar that just gave a speck of hope that your payment might be processed. Eventually it would time out. Switch to IE on a Windows box and the submission went instantly.

    Safari still has its place, certain admin software written by the mighty Cisco looks like complete crap in Firefox but works great in Safari. Truly a terrible thing when no one has standards and the end user has to have a swiss army knife of web browsers for different situations.

  43. AD8BC says:

    Hey, it’s AT&Ts choice which browsers to support.

    It’s your choice what companies to support.

    Don’t like it? Send your money somewhere else.

  44. @omerhi: Uh, what color is the sky on your planet? Safari is the #1 browser on Macs and #2 browser on smartphones.

    Given that it’s the only browser on the iPhone – which is ATT exclusive, you might think their web services team would get a clue.

  45. emilymarion333 says:

    Doesn’t AT&T sell the iPhone? Many people I know who bought the iPhone are mac users. If they are catering to apple products shouldn’t you be able to pay your bill through Sarfari??

  46. @DemolitionMan: “Not a knock on her, but, AT&T can’t be required to be available to any browser.”

    So, if ATT decides to ignore a browser that is more standards compliant than IE in order to service the horribly broken “use what came with Windows” market, I should borrow a Windows machine to pay my bills?

    IE is harder to test against than any other browser – writing to established web standards (i.e. Safari, Firefox, etc.) would result in less development and testing time than trying to code for every version of Microsoft’s broken browser.

  47. Buran says:

    @wring: I think that post was a joke.

  48. Buran says:

    @emilymarion333: And that’s why this is so stupid.

  49. jeff303 says:

    @omerhi: Echoing what others have said… Safari is great and at the moment Firefox on OS X can’t touch it in terms of performance. It just feels unbearably slow and looks ugly to boot. Extensions are the only reason I use it (alongside Safari) on my Mac.

  50. luna1701 says:

    @olivia2.0: Olivia has a great point. The reason I didn’t get an iPhone is because I don’t want to deal with AT&T (and I still have time left on my Verizon contract….but that’s another story!). Why would Apple enter into a partnership with a company who won’t support them all the way? That iPhone may not be in my future any time soon.

  51. remthewanderer says:

    the Verizon wireless website will not allow me to login via firefox. Utterly stupid!

  52. maevro says:

    The Moto Q9 Global comes with Opera preinstalled, one of the smartest things they could have done, especially on a HSDPA phone.

    I like AT&T’s mobile service, especially with 3G but I never use their support.

  53. HOP says:

    i use the mozilla-firefox on one one computer w/verizon and have not had a problem….yet……….

  54. shrtcrt says:

    Its not a Mac sucks, or Safari is junk for her having issues, its IE. Since IE does some REALLY stupid and non standard things with HTML, a standards compliant browser like FireFox and Safari render the page differently. If the developers followed standards, we would not have this issue and if Microsoft would stop implementing their own way of doing things, we would be better.

  55. maztec says:

    @DeeJayQueue: That was my question. To top it off, the wireless site does have an iPhone version iirc. Even so, having been a web designer, it really does not take that much extra work to hire a firm that knows how to make standard compliant web pages that do it right form the start – or can fix what you have done wrong.

    Meh, preaching to the choir.

  56. bones says:

    I don’t see AT&T foregoing iPhone profits, perhaps Steve needs to talk to AT&T and see if they support Safari after that.

  57. @dvnprcsn: Opera is free and has been for several years. [www.opera.com]

  58. calvinneal says:

    That response from ATT was as ignorant as it was asinine. Macs work fine with ATT yahoo, I have even gotten technical support from them. Read the response very carefully, “I have found that—“. The person answering didn’t know and found something to allow him or her to pass the buck. ATT has 300,000 employees. Some are contractors. Not everyone give the correct answer every time. Also, Apple has some good tips for Safari issues. Reset Safari would be my first tip. Camino works great as a browser. Its is at Mozilla.com. ATT Yahoo web site does support Macs. Why you would be told otherwise is perplexing.

  59. Buran says:

    @Papa Midnight: Uh, my mom was confused by windows but understands how the Mac works. You seriously think the Windows cobbled-together mess is better than the simplicity of Macs? There’s a reason Apple spends so much on design of its products and UI.

    Have you ever USED a Mac? I’m not flaming, but your comment seriously seems to hint that you haven’t.

  60. I just helped my dad set up AT&T DSL in his home and you can’t set it up unless you use IE. After that, you can use any browser you’d like, as I’ve converted all my friends and family to Firefox. I have the same issues with McAffee, among other big software companies, they require the use of IE to update their software. Its a web-standards nightmare.

    As all the other web design proficient commenters here know, “Web Standards” and “Accessibility” have been hot issues in the web industry for the last 8-10 years, and we still haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. The problem isn’t only with browser-compatibility, but accessibility for users with special needs. Last year Target.com was sued by blind users who couldn’t navigate their website because it was built without regard for keyboard navigation and screen reader software.

  61. Oshawapilot says:

    @RamV10:

    You don’t need to “support” Safari, you just need to adhere to web standards so that your website works no matter what browser people use.

    Personally I use Camino on my Mac – I don’t like Safari, and I find Firefox’s memory leaks too irritating. Camino is a great alternative, and works everywhere I go.

    I’m sure you don’t “support” Camino either, but if your website isn’t cobbled together with proprietary Microsoft crap code, then it shouldn’t matter.

  62. overbysara says:

    So… they have the exclusive partnership, but… can’t support the safari web browser? the web browser that the exclusive partnership’s phone USES?

  63. gingerCE says:

    I have Safari and Firefox on my computer–and I prefer Safari.

    Btw, I just paid my att phone bill via safari a couple weeks ago, no problem.

  64. dirtleg says:

    I have been using safari for years. When I first started with it I would occasionally run across pages that would not load properly and audio/video never worked. When I upgraded to safari 2, things improved quite a bit. I am now using safari 3 on a new iMac and EVERYTHING works. I get video from all the sites that offer it (at least the sites that I visit, and no, not just pron) and I can get audio samples and radio streams that I never could before. I even get the video on MSNBC, which I never got before. I use IE at work on my PC and I have more problems with support on that machine than I do at home.
    I like my Mac, and safari too. Besides, friggin’ MS dropped support for Mac IE over a year ago.

  65. carblover says:

    I’ve view/paid my AT&T bill using Safari for the past year or so. I just logged in again with Safari and it’s working fine!

  66. mikelotus says:

    @gingerCE: why do you prefer safari? the version for windows sucks, but maybe its just that version. is there tabbed browsing in it?

  67. consumerd says:

    I can’t say I have tried paying my bill in safari. However I have paid mine numerous times in Firefox 2.0.0.11 (the latest) and it seems to work with mine just fine.

    For the Firefox users, try safe mode. Reason being is I found one extension/add-on (I think it was Fasterfox at the time) that caused all kinds of problems with that site. I tried a different machine without Fasterfox and it worked just fine. I started nailing extensions one at a time till I found the one causing the problem.

  68. UnknownVariable says:

    You’d think a company as large as AT&T would adhere to web standards. I’m a web developer, and I speak with experience when I say that as long as you stick to web standards, you’re likely to not run into any problems on any “major” browser. If anything, IE’s quirkiness would cause a CSS error here or there, but for the most part, so long as you follow web standards when coding, IE, Firefox, Opera, and Safari should all view the site perfectly fine.

    Somebody email AT&T and tell them to hire some real web developers, haha. :(

  69. ShadowFalls says:

    As many mentioned, install Firefox, call it a day. It simply is a more efficient, and usable browser.

  70. Riquez says:

    A building firm made a load of houses & in every one the floors slanted down to the left. They actually made the houses wrong, but everyone bought them & didnt really notice.
    Then furniture stores started making chairs with legs longer on one side, so that they would work in these houses.
    Later some other builders made some new houses & they made the floors flat. The people in these houses ended up buying the slanty chairs, but they kept falling over, so they called up & said “hey, your chairs fall over in my house” & the chair makers said “sorry, we only support microsoft houses”

  71. hals000 says:

    @motoraway: wow, welcome to the conversation, read the previous 10 posts genius

  72. egoebelbecker says:

    If you check the help on att.com, it explicitly states that Safari and Macintosh are supported. there’s even directions on how to clear the cache in Safari and Firefox. I think the really story here is the lack of knowledge on the part of “Christina [redacted]”

    But the Windows Zombies can keep throwing rocks at Apple. You guys need *something* to feel good about…and having a chaper, less stable computer that’s much more difficult to use is something.

    I guess.

  73. Witera33it says:

    so there will be no paying of bills from your iPhone huh? No wonder so many people wast to jailbreak their iPhones. For the record though, Jobs went to Verison first but they laughed at him. ATT was the last chance for him to get this product onto the market. It’s a shame really.
    Safari supports all sorts of plugins that allows me to see just about anything and the ATT site works just fine. I just checked. Maybe I have some tech savvy, maybe the person complaining doesn’t.
    And by the way if you build any computer to the specs of a mac through one of the major competitors it will be the same price. I did the comparison shopping with an Apple hater one day to prove the point.

  74. lucky_you says:

    Safari here too.
    No problems.
    Paid my bill and can do it with the iPhone as well.
    You’ve pretty much got to be a boob if you’re still using IE.
    That’s a minor step up from AOL.

  75. stuny says:

    Hey, I am thinking of buying a computer. Does anyone have an opinion on what operating system is better?

    Also, can anyone suggest a good browser?

    Oh, and on an equally important note, anyone heard any news about Brittney Spears lately?

  76. RokMartian says:

    I work for a company that is a website, so we must support all the different browsers. However, our internal policy is we only work with IE.

    Methinks that the rep confused some internal policy with the external users.

    As an aside, I’m a recent MAC convert and while I love firefox, Safari 3 is much faster. Oh, and I was also on AT&T site looking at my bill, with no issues.

  77. dirtleg says:

    @stuartny: Dude, I am ROTFLMAO.

    I think I have seen you post on about a zillion comment boards. Is that you?

    What do you think of Hillary?

  78. quagmire0 says:

    What’s the big friggin’ deal? I’m a loyal Firefox user, but once in a while, for certain sites, I have to succumb and use IE for them to work properly. Two things: 1. Have a second web browser on your machine for times like these. 2. If you don’t like the answer you get from one tech support person, call again, you’ll probably find someone smarter and/or more willing to follow up for you.

  79. STrRedWolf says:

    Drop a mail to Steve Jobs and AT&T’s head. If you can’t see your bill on your iPhone, then the service is useless.

  80. jdandrea says:

    FWIW, there used to be a Web Standards Initiative at pre-merger AT&T. Read more here:

    [tinyurl.com]

  81. lihtox says:

    @ad8bc: Hey, it’s AT&Ts choice which browsers to support. It’s your choice what companies to support. Don’t like it? Send your money somewhere else.
    And that’s the whole point of posting this to Consumerist: to let other people know about this practice so that they can decide whether to support AT&T. No one’s calling for legislation or even a lawsuit; it’s just a simple attempt to impose market pressure on the company (a purely capitalist technique if ever I saw one).

  82. deserthiker says:

    NO problems with Safari here. I’ve used Firefox, Camino and Opera and I like Safari. I probably haven’t opened any of those other browsers for at least a month and I even removed Firefox from my dock. Also, with the new Mail program I got rid of Thunderbird, too.

  83. dlab says:

    @RokMartian: Unfortunately, the rep was not confused. SOME FACTIONS OF AT&T only test websites on Windows machines running IE6.

    This is the same company that took away coffee from the corporate offices.

  84. dodonnell says:

    @AstroPig7: It’s about as annoying as all the ignorant Mac- and Safari-bashing that goes on here; and just as typical, sadly.

  85. missbheave (is not convinced) says:

    that’s hilarious–AT&T is the sole carrier for the iPhone and they actively don’t support Safari browsers?

  86. CyberSkull says:

    Because of how IE is broken it requires special coding to support it. So rather than stick to standards and support most of the browsers they choose to focus entirely on the one browser that is continually shrinking in the market.

  87. techgirlc says:

    That’s really funny, because as any representative from one of AT&T’s call centers can tell you, we fully support Safari, and even have flash-based emulators for Safari setup walkthroughs available to us.